Now that spring is finally here, Easter isn’t far behind. No matter how people recognize this holiday, it often involves big family dinners, baskets of candy, and visiting relatives. It’s almost like a Thanksgiving holiday in spring. But this can be a problem for your family’s teeth. There are certain traditional treats during Easter that might cause problems like cavities and gum disease.
Call either of our Laredo, TX dentist offices at 956-242-6745 (Junction Drive) or 956-517-2695 (Winfield) and make a new appointment. Our team can see young children, and everyone could use a dental cleaning and exam after all those Easter treats. In the meantime, follow these tips to help your family protect their smiles.
Know The Dental Risks
- Don’t drink too much soda, juice, or alcohol: These drinks can hurt your teeth, so be sure to limit how much you enjoy over the weekend. Soda, juice, and many alcoholic drinks are full of sugar and acid, which damages your enamel. Alcohol also dries out your mouth, which increases your risk of tooth decay.
- Enjoy some candy but skip sticky, colorful ones: Sweet treats are a hallmark of this holiday, and it’s fine to enjoy some candy from time to time. But you should avoid eating candy that’s very colorful or sticky. Those weird colors look fun, but they slowly stain your teeth. Sticky candy coats your teeth in sugar, which is just inviting a cavity.
- Put the leftover candy out of sight: One problem with Easter is how many sweets are lying around all weekend long. If you have kids, this is often Easter baskets. If everyone can see the candy, they’re more likely to snack all day long. To avoid this, put the candy away after everyone has enjoyed some. Put it in the freezer so it’s out of sight but it will keep for a long time.
- Rinse your mouth with plain water after eating: Whenever you eat, tiny food particles get trapped on your teeth and gums. These end up feeding harmful bacteria, which increases your risk of cavities and gum disease. But you can lower this risk by rinsing vigorously with water after eating. It washes away more particles, helping control those bacteria.
Why Teeth Get Hurt By Food & Drink
You know that sweets and other treats are bad for your family’s smiles, but why? Here are three reasons.
- Sugar and carbs: Many dental problems (like cavities) are caused by harmful bacteria. These need to eat, so they survive on tiny food particles that stay behind whenever you eat or drink. Sugar and carbohydrates are packed with energy, so they help those bacteria thrive. And as they spread, they secrete an acid that erodes your enamel.
- Acids: Bacteria aren’t the only way your enamel can get damaged. Acids found in juice, soda, and more slowly erode the enamel. That makes sense; it’s an acid! It’s not a sudden problem, but it does build up over time.
- Alcohol: Your mouth uses saliva to wash the teeth and gums, getting rid of some food particles. This helps keep bacteria in check. But alcohol dries out our mouth, so there’s less saliva to rinse particles away.